March 21, 2024

Payment Assistance Available for Providers Impacted by Change Healthcare Cyberattack

Change Healthcare is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure healthcare providers impacted by its recent cyberattack continue to have access to funds to operate practices with minimal disruption. In a March 18 update, UnitedHealth Group, parent company of Change Healthcare, announced it has provided more than $2 billion in advanced payments to providers. The company also indicated claims processing and payment system testing has begun, and phased restoration of services will occur in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, providers may continue to utilize workarounds and apply weekly for financial assistance. UnitedHealth Group also suspended prior authorizations for most outpatient services and utilization review of inpatient admissions for Medicare Advantage plans.

HHS issued a call to action for the government and private sector to work together to ensure healthcare providers have the funds to continue to operate and minimize disruption to patient care. All payers are urged to make interim payments available and relax prior authorization requirements. A frequently asked questions document addresses the process for obtaining advanced payments for Medicare Part A and Part B services.

In response to requests from providers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reopened the 2023 Merit-based Incentive Payment System Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Application March 15, to provide relief to clinicians impacted by the cyberattack on reporting requirement timeframes.

For questions or to report specific issues your practices are facing as a result of the Change Healthcare cyberattack, contact Katie Keysor, American College of Radiology® Senior Director of Economic Policy.